- object, 2022
A lineshaft roller conveyor, or line-shaft conveyor, is a shorter version of the conveyor belts used in large distribution warehouses. In this instance, every roller bears one word from a quote from Karl Marx and Frederick Engels’ “Communist Manifesto”: “The modern labourer, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class.” The rollers remain in constant motion, forcing the viewer to bend over and focus to read the entire phrase. This only takes a few minutes, whereas people employed in warehouses have to bend over such conveyors for hours. European shipping centres have become a contemporary epitome of the maximally isolated and de-indi- vidualised worker space. The roller conveyor is their symbol. The metal structure, like a vein running through the body of the warehouse, carries trays, boxes and packages. Nothing matters except meeting the quota. Today it is to pack four boxes per minute; tomorrow, it could be six, the day after – eight. The faste the quota is reached, the faster the next quota is imposed. One thing will remain the same: the repetitive nature of the work increasingly crushes those confined to the tool of exploitation – the system of mechanical veins, i.e. roller conveyors.